Distinct Fos expression in the brain following freezing behavior elicited by stimulation with NMDA of the ventral or dorsal inferior colliculus

Exp Neurol. 2007 Apr;204(2):693-704. doi: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2006.12.023. Epub 2007 Jan 10.


The inferior colliculus (IC) is an important relay station for ascending auditory information to the medial geniculate nucleus (MGN) and temporal cortex. It has been reported that the ventral (ICv) and dorsal (ICd) regions of the IC are involved with the defensive reaction and audiogenic seizures, respectively. As freezing is the first response induced by stimulation of these IC nuclei with increasing doses of N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA), a question that arises is whether or not fear and audiogenic seizures generated at the IC level are interrelated processes. To address this issue, the Fos distribution in selected limbic structures following injections of NMDA into the ICv or ICd at freezing (7 nmol)- and escape (20 nmol)-producing doses was examined. Freezing behavior induced by intra-ICd NMDA caused an increase of Fos expression in the MGN, superior colliculus, dorsal columns of the periaqueductal gray and locus coeruleus while freezing induced by intra-ICv NMDA caused a significant Fos immunoreactivity in the prelimbic (PrL) and cingulate (Cg) cortices, basolateral and medial nuclei of the amygdala, ventrolateral periaqueductal gray, cuneiform nucleus and locus coeruleus. Escape behavior induced by NMDA injections into both nuclei caused a widespread Fos labeling in all limbic structures examined in this study. These results suggest that distinct circuits underlie the freezing behavior generated at the level of ICd and ICv. This is the first study to map Fos distribution associated with the stimulation of the ICv and ICd, regions supposed to be involved with fear and audiogenic seizures, respectively.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal
  • Brain / anatomy & histology
  • Brain / drug effects*
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Cell Count / methods
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Escape Reaction / drug effects
  • Escape Reaction / physiology
  • Excitatory Amino Acid Agonists / pharmacology*
  • Freezing Reaction, Cataleptic / drug effects
  • Freezing Reaction, Cataleptic / physiology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects*
  • Male
  • Microinjections / methods
  • N-Methylaspartate / pharmacology*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-fos / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Excitatory Amino Acid Agonists
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-fos
  • N-Methylaspartate